* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Microsoft and Facebook's transatlantic cable completed

Alister Silver badge

My understanding is that Bytes are capitals and bits are lowercase, and that all the multiplications are capitalised, so e.g:

MB - Mega Bytes

Tb - Tera bits

Alister Silver badge

Re: I'll get my Côte

If you're coming from Spain, "beyond France" includes Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy with direct borders, and The Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia at one remove.

NASA, wait, wait lemme put my drink down... NASA, you need to be searching for vanadium

Alister Silver badge

“You can see a steak looks biological – there’s blood dripping from it. Then, you put it in a pressure cooker for very long time, and you end up with charcoal"

Yep, that sounds like my ex's cooking.

SEC 'fesses to security breach, says swiped info likely used for dodgy stock-market trading

Alister Silver badge

Who watches the watchmen?

So, irony of ironies, the SEC is supposed to be starting an investigation of Equifax...

Who's going to investigate the SEC?

Equifax fooled again! Blundering credit biz directs hack attack victims to parody site

Alister Silver badge

Re: Both domains went dark ?

securityequifax2017.com was the one Nick set up, securityequifax.com was never registered.

The real one is equifaxsecurity2017.com.

CCleaner targeted top tech companies in attempt to lift IP

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they should face a severe penalty so that no one ever again will think to tamper with computers belonging to innocent other people.

So, execution for a first-offence, exorcism for repeat offenders?

Chief digital officer and sales director leave O2 amid ongoing shake-up

Alister Silver badge

O2 is one of the smaller network operators, holding just 14 per cent of spectrum.

That's a misleading statement, however, as their overall network coverage of the UK is one of the most comprehensive.

Anecdotally, I have had much more reliable signal in diverse areas of the UK using O2 than friends and colleagues on other networks have managed.

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

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Yes, the steering wheel will be optional...


Viacom exposes crown jewels to world+dog in AWS S3 bucket blunder

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Re: What price security?

This is not a cloud storage vs server storage issue. Badly configured storage is just as likely to happen on either.

I disagree.Most on-prem or managed storage is looked after by someone with clue, who can fend off the stupidities that cause this sort of leak. If a developer wants a database to be hosted, then it's done in a managed fashion, and access is granted with proper consideration of security consequences. In most cases external access from the internet is never required.

Cloud storage with one of the megalithic suppliers encourages developers who want to host a database to just stick stuff on it, and if they can't immediately access it, they turn off the default security, as it's not their problem. External access from the internet is inevitable in this model, and to properly lock it down requires clue. No-one with clue is involved in the process.

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

Alister Silver badge

Although "should HAVE" would of been the actual grammatical correction on this occasion.


Black screen of death after Win10 update? Microsoft blames HP

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a service called "app readiness", which "gets apps ready for use the first time a user signs in to this PC and when adding new apps"

So, is it a pre-compiler for the pre-compiler then? The mind boggles.

I remember the days when a program came as a compiled binary, and didn't need to be created from p-code every time it ran. Curiously, that seemed to be a faster and more stable way of doing things, but progress moves on.

Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

Alister Silver badge

Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

I though Docker was them boots with air-cushion soles that skinheads and punks used to wear...

Alister Silver badge

Not just functional programming. We used to do lots of procedural programming too. We used Pascal, so we could do both, because Pascal has functions and procedures.

I genuinely laughed out loud at that one. I must remember it to quote to other greybeard Pascal programmers I know.

Now what was it again?

What's that, Equifax? Most people expect to be notified of a breach within hours?

Alister Silver badge

Equifax is ideally placed to help businesses if they experience a data breach

Yes... yes you are. Just not quite in the way you thought you meant.

Mad scientist zaps himself to determine the power of electric eel shocks

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The eels made him teacher of writhing and reeling.

and the different branches of arithmetic:

ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision.

Alister Silver badge

I prefer pTerry's version:

Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...

Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

Alister Silver badge

So, they're going to try selling fintech to Finland, is that right?

Equifax mega-breach: Security bod flags header config conflict

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@ sitta_europea

Not sure of your point?

You seem to have found an SPF record with a legacy entry in it.

And last I looked, El Reg was not the holder of confidential credit information or PPI.

Alister Silver badge

Scott Helme's header.io site is very unforgiving in its marking.

As a comparison with equifax's score of "D" here's a few others:

theregister.co.uk: "F"

www.paypal.com: "B"

www.ebay.com: "E"

www.google.com: "E"

www.experian.co.uk: "E"

Some of the headers that Scott's site marks you down for are very difficult to implement on real world sites, (Content Security Policy) and others are only just being introduced (Referrer-Policy) and are not generally implemented.

A fairer representation might be to use the Qualys Labs site


Where equifax.com scores an "A"

'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

Alister Silver badge

I would not, could not, on a train. I could not, would not, in the rain.

Ah, Dr Seuss, welcome...

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Alister Silver badge

Re: Accident reasons

Also, what use is a facility that allows the drone to think it's landed, but is still at 300 feet?

I'm not sure it was a feature, more a bug...

As I recall from the accident report, the drones were originally fitted with a weight-on-wheels inhibitor which confirmed that the drone was actually landed before power could be shut down, however, for some obscure reason the manufacturers removed this.

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Birdstrikes

loose one prop

UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Alister Silver badge

Damn you sir, what do you mean by that?

Lt-Col Cholmondely-Featherstonehaugh (ret'd)

Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos

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Thumb Up

the laminated catalogue of dreams


123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration

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...aren't aware of turning the automatic renewal off on these domain names.

I rather think 123-Reg might have thought of that, and maybe have disabled that ability for .uk registrations? I don't know, I'm not a 123-Reg customer, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had.

To me it seems a very cynical way of increasing .uk registrations, just to make the figures look good.

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

Alister Silver badge


Though the JDP’s authors pooh-pooh the notion that unmanned drones make it morally easier to drop bombs on people...

You know, if there's one thing I've learnt from being in the Army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh.

I knew a Major, who got pooh-poohed, made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cos it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment. Morale totally destroyed... by pooh-pooh!

DARPA lays out cash-splash to defibrillate Moore's Law

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Contrary to popular belief defibrillators don't start things, they are designed to stop the heart dead when it is fibrillating - that is, when the AV node is firing randomly and the muscle is contracting and relaxing spasmodically.

So to use defibrillate as a metaphor for starting something is incorrect. As a metaphor for giving something / someone a massive shock it is probably admissible.

El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

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Cruel and unusual punishment, that!

Alister Silver badge


Mind bleach required!

Alister Silver badge

Is there any chance that the successful applicant could proofread an article or two, as part of their duties?

Auto-makers told their autopilots need better safeguards

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You can't just make an open-bladed huge great cutting machine and then put a warning in the manual not to go near it. You have to have safeties and lock-outs and mechanisms and barriers.

And therein lies the problem, individuals no longer expect to have to take responsibility for their own safety, instead they expect that they will somehow be physically prevented from attempting something dumb.

A prime example is railway crossings in the UK: despite barriers, warning lights, and all the other safety equipment, people still attempt to cross in front of a train, and the railway is somehow blamed if they are killed or injured.

At some point people should have to face the consequences of their actions, up to and including Darwinism, and not expect that they should have been prevented from getting into that situation.

FireEye pulls Equifax boasts as it tries to handle hack fallout

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Early indications are that hackers failed to go even deeper and access Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

Well why would they? They'd already got all the useful stuff!

I don't think they'd be particulalry interested in personal or commercial credit scores, they're not much use to a criminal compared to the names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers etc which they did get.

The bigger the drone, the bigger the impact

Alister Silver badge

Rather than using Drones, I would have thought that your Papua New Guinea example was a prime example of where cargo-carrying airships could be used to advantage. Their lifting capacity and power-to-weight ratio is far more suited to moving bulk produce around in the absence of roads, than any sort of helicopter type drone.

Scotiabank internet whizzkids screw up their HTTPS security certs

Alister Silver badge

If, as surmised above, the site is designed to be served over HTTP, then why would you bother monitoring it over HTTPS, or bothering about an expired SSL cert on the server?

A case can be made that the site shouldn't respond at all on 443, but if the server has other sites on HTTPS then it's easy to overlook.

Alister Silver badge

Re: I would point the finger at the web hosting company first.

I'm not even convinced it is an HTTPS enabled website

I agree. I think the site is meant to be served by HTTP, and if you request it using HTTPS it's just returning the default SSL cert on the server.

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Alister Silver badge

Re: Urban legend fail. (was: PC fail)

Sorry Jake, but the case I dealt with was in a woman's vagina, and also, in England, where medics don't routinely publicise their cases.

Alister Silver badge

Re: PC fail

As for the gerbil, I googled the term, is it like .... an animal, of the mouse family

Yep, think dormouse or hamster - roughly similar in size.

It was apparently alive when introduced into a lady's love-tunnel, however it quickly became distressed, and eventually suffocated...

Alister Silver badge

Re: PC fail

No homophobia here please.

Oh purleeese! There is no homophobia present in the sentence you quoted.

In a previous job as a medical professional I had to assist with the removal of a number of unexpected items from bodily orifices of both male and female patients, including a champagne cork, a gerbil, a gear-lever knob, and the business end of a toilet-brush.

Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

Alister Silver badge

Class action waiver and arbitration

Interestingly, if you read the whole of the TrustedID agreement, there is this paragraph tucked away at the bottom:

If, however, the class action waiver provisions in the “Arbitration” section are found to be illegal or unenforceable, then the entire arbitration provision in the “Arbitration” section will be unenforceable, and any Claims (as defined in the “Arbitration” section) will instead be decided by a court.

Stuff the movement of celestial spheres, let's sit down and watch Bonnie Tyler on TV

Alister Silver badge

Re: Sheer Heart attack

as well as Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, chest compressions can be done to Queen's Another One Bites The Dust, but it gets embarrassing if you start singing it out loud...

Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Alister Silver badge

Re: "children are not encouraged to read any more"

@ m-k.

Yes, I think you are right that reading for enjoyment is not a thing for kids nowadays.

One thing that we did with our kids to try and encourage them to look things up was to buy a book of quizzes, (and latterly use those available in phone apps or on the web).

At meal-times we would all have a go at them - all sorts of subjects, from history to boy-bands (shudder) - but it made it fun for the kids 'cos they could laugh at us adults lack of knowledge, and get a feeling of pride when they got something correct.

As a consequence, the kids now have minds full of all sorts of useless information :) but it does encourage them to take an interest in obscure subjects, and above all to enquire, instead of following the trend of only knowing things they absolutely need to to get through school.

Alister Silver badge

Re: "offering every US citizen a year's free identity theft monitoring for those who apply"


I agree wholeheartedly, it really grates on me to see loose... AARGH.

But the problem, as far as I can see is that children are not encouraged to read any more, which is the quickest and best way to promote correct spelling.

My daughter was reading books from an early age, and therefore her vocabulary and spelling are much better than most of her peers.

If you've never seen the words written down, then phonetic errors like this are bound to be more and more common.

SpaceX sneaks in X-37B space plane launch ahead of Hurricane Irma

Alister Silver badge

A beer for all concerned, all who are interested and anyone who is thirsty.....

That might end up being a costly round...

UK.gov launches 'co-ordination hub' for driverless car industry

Alister Silver badge

That's that place in Slice in the Ramptops, isn't it?

Wonder why Congress doesn't clamp down on its gung-ho spies? Well, wonder no more

Alister Silver badge

got some much-needed sunlight shined on it.

Shone, surely?

Scottish pensioners rage at Virgin cabinet blocking their view

Alister Silver badge

Re: Smacks of this

I resemble those remarks ! Im being quoted out of context!

Quick! Quote some poetry at him!

A furious think-tank boss, Google, and an academic 'fired' for criticizing ads giant

Alister Silver badge

Ooh! Almost a Tom Swifty

"The blanket claim that the entire story was 'false' contributes to the kind of degradation of our national discourse that I often publicly lament," she lamented.

You snuck that one in :)

France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

Alister Silver badge

taking AA batteries out with Hellfire missiles.

I usually use a screwdriver, myself. But I've heard the new Duracell can be difficult?

Alister Silver badge

Re: "though she did not specify precisely what weapons"

Hyper-velocity cheese, I would have assumed.

Well if we're going down the traditional Python route...

They'll be fitted with auto-unfurling white flags.

Unable to give up on life on Mars, bio-boffins now thrilled to find boron

Alister Silver badge

Re: Moron

Now who could play the lead?

Rick Moronis, of course...

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